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FEMA, Other Federal Agencies Prepared for Henri

Release Date Release Number
HQ-21-162
Release Date:
August 22, 2021

WASHINGTON -- FEMA continues monitoring Henri as it moves with high winds and flooding throughout the northeastern United States. Individuals in New England should continue to be vigilant for continued risks from Henri, including large rainfall totals and extended power outages.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved emergency disaster declarations for Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island ahead of the storm’s landfall.  

"We've been working with state, local, tribal and federal partners to ready for this storm," said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. "We are ensuring all necessary supplies are ready to go, with personnel on the ground to respond as soon as needed." 

FEMA is ready to continue assisting states as they respond to and recover from Henri. The agency positioned supplies such as meals, water and generators throughout the affected areas, and FEMA staff are supporting multiple operations centers.  

Federal Agency Partners Working to Ensure Safety 

FEMA and other federal agencies are assisting and supporting state, local and non-governmental partners with supplies and logistics to address areas of need. Additional resources are deployed or on standby, including Urban Search and Rescue teams, temporary emergency power teams and mobile emergency communications and support resources. Actions include:  

  • American Red Cross teams are working with communities across the northeast to open shelters and provide a safe place for people to go. Anyone staying in a Red Cross shelter is encouraged to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Additionally, ensure you have items specific to your family’s needs, such as diapers for infants or batteries for hearing aids. To help keep everybody safe, everyone in a Red Cross emergency shelter is required to wear face coverings.  
  • The U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast, which covers Southeastern New England, set port conditions to Zulu status for all ports in the entire Southeastern New England region. While Zulu conditions are in place, no vessels may enter or transit within area ports without permission, and all vessel inventory is at a minimum. 
  • The U.S. Department of Energy reports that thousands of power crews are pre-staged or en route to help with power restoration efforts throughout the northeast.  
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that New England District hurricane barriers in Stamford, Conn.; Fox Point, R.I.; and New Bedford, Mass. remain closed as staff continue monitoring Henri. 

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee activated state National Guard troops to assist with response efforts

Stay Safe During Power Outages  

Henri is expected to cause widespread power outages in addition to flooding. Residents should be prepared for communications, water and transportation to be affected by these outages.  

Residents who experience power outages should:  

  • Use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles during a blackout or power outage due to extreme risk of fire.  
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. A grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices should never be used inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. These should only be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows.  
  • Use a generator safely. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.  
  • Keep generators outside and far away from your home. Windows, doors and vents could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.  
  • Power Outages can impact the safety of food in your refrigerator and freezer.  
    • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary.  
    • Throw away any food that has been exposed to a temperature of 40°Fahrenheit (4° Celsius) or higher for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out! 
    • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, heat-resistant bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly.  
  • Check on neighbors who may require assistance, if it is safe to do so. This includes individuals with infants, children and  older adults, people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. 

Download the FEMA app (available in English and Spanish) to receive emergency alerts and real-time safety notifications, emergency preparedness tips and disaster resources. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.  

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Last updated August 22, 2021